Mr Shatner yesterday became the oldest person to have traveled to the far reaches of space, as part of a crew of four aboard Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket. Famously, the 90-year-old played Captain Kirk in the iconic 60s TV series Star Trek ‒ a character whose fictional mission was “to boldly go where no man had gone before”. Mr Shatner was invited to be part of the mission by Amazon owner and Star Trek fan Mr Bezos, who is battling in a three-way billionaire space race against Richard Branson and Elon Musk.
The Blue Origin rocket took off from a Texas desert and flew 66 miles above the Earth’s surface to experience a few minutes of weightlessness, before returning to the desert by parachute.
Before taking off, the Canadian actor said, “I’m thrilled and anxious and a little nervous and a little scared about the whole adventure.
“But I have to think that once that’s done, once I’ve been in space and seen the universe and seen our Earth and the contrast between that hostility and that heat, and how important it is to keep the Earth alive so that we don’t damage it.
“That contrast in all of this is so dramatic to me.”
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Mr Shatner is an active Twitter user and even planned to tweet about his 2.5 million followers during his short space adventure.
He is outspoken on a number of current issues, including woke culture and the “utterly ridiculous” notion that past events should be viewed through the prism of modern values.
During a blast in 2019, the Star Trek star took to Twitter to explain and critique the phenomenon.
The conversation began when Mr Shatner replied to a now-deleted tweet criticizing millennials for writing off individuals from history whom they now deemed “intolerable”.
“What happens when today’s views are tomorrow’s follies?
Since the original Tweet that Mr Shatner was reacting to had been deleted, the actor went on to explain that it was “a threat to millennials that could erase my past work”.
He added that the Tweet also referred to Laura Ingalls Wilder, a 19th- and 20th-century writer whose literary prize, the “Wilder Award”, was renamed in 2018 by the American Library Association (ALA).
According to the New York Times, this decision was made due to “culturally insensitive depictions in his books.”
The ALA claimed the name had been changed to “align the title of the award” with their “core values”, which are “inclusiveness, integrity, respect and responsiveness”.
He added: “The Wilder Prize was renamed because presenters complained that his books contained derogatory 1870s sentiment towards Indigenous people.
“The library board did this in response to complaints.
“Do you really think in 2018 baby boomers or Gen Xers suddenly realized these books were bad?”
Mr Shatner then claimed there was an irony behind the term ‘woke’.
He said, “To be awake is to be uninformed, which is exactly the opposite of what it means.”